Ticketed Entry System in Glacier National Park and How It Effects Your Wedding

nps.gov website

Due to managing difficulties with overcrowding, construction happening on Montana Highway 2, and Covid precautions, there will be a ticketed entry system in Glacier National Park beginning 2021.

The Ticketed Entry System in Glacier National Park is a system imposed for the 2023 season, starting on May 26th thru September 10th, 2023. The system will be imposed between 6am-3pm at the West Entrance, St. Mary Entrance and Polebridge Entry Stations. The ticketed entry expands to Two Medicine and Many Glacier entrances July 1 thru September 10th (6am-3pm).

This simple map shows Glacier National Park in white. Roads that are subject to vehicle reservations are highlighted in a wider orange line. The main text on the map says: Glacier National Park 2023 Vehicle Reservation Areas. Separate vehicle reservations are
needed for each area:
North Fork, Going-to-the-Sun Road,
Many Glacier, and Two Medicine. Then there are five other call-out boxes that describe the specific vehicle reservation requirements for each area of the park. All of this information is available on https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/gtsrticketedentry.htm

Starting in 2023, vehicle reservations will be available in booking blocks. A portion of the reservations will be available 120 days in advance.

The first block opens on February 1st, 2023 at reservation.gov . This first block will allow for the GTSR corridor during May 26th-June 30th.

The second block opens on March 1st, 2023. This block will allow for all July dates.

The third block opens on April 1st, 2023 and will be booking all August dates.

The forth block opens on May 1st, 2023 and will be booking all areas for September 1-10th.

Remaining tickets will be released 24 hours in advance, available up to the day of your park visit (assuming they are not sold out). The Going to the Sun Road (GTSR) Entry Reservation Tickets are $2 non-refundable. The GTSR Entry Reservation Ticket must be purchased in addition to the $35 Entrance Fee, valid for three days. Reservations cannot be purchased at the booth, but must be purchased online. CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR RESERVATION TICKET.

Glacier national park ticketed entry system

Will I need a GTSR Entry Ticket Reservation if I have a Wedding Permit?

Your wedding permit allows you entry into the park WITHOUT a GTSR Entry Reservation Ticket for the day of your event. You will still need to purchase the $35 Entry Fee that you can do at a booth on your way into the park. Be prepared and bring a printout of your permit. The special use permit you paid for will waive the use for Your guests to have a GTSR ticket, but you need to include the number of cars on your permit for your number of guests. Your guests will need a paper copy of your permit. Be sure to include your photographer’s car as one of the cars on your permit and send them a copy of it. If you plan on exploring the park on any other day than your elopement, you WILL need a GTSR Entry Reservation Ticket.

do i need a reservation ticket for my glacier national park wedding

Frequently Asked Questions about the Glacier National Park Ticket Entry System

Do I need a Going to the Sun Road (GTSR) Entry Ticket if I have a Special Use Permit for my elopement/wedding?

If you have a permit for your wedding, you do not need a GTSR Entry Ticket for your event date. If you are planning to explore the park on dates outside of your permit, you will need to reserve a ticket. Be prepared with a printed and digital copy of your permit when you arrive at the park. Your photography/videography team (heeeey!) will need a copy of your permit.

Do I need a reservation even if I have a park pass? 

Yes. You will need a park pass and a reservation to enter the West Glacier and St. Mary entrance. The Park Entrance Fee is $35/vehicle for 3 days. You will need to reserve your trip using this link 

How do I get a reservation ticket?

Step 1: Create an account on recreation.gov by clicking “sign up” in the top right corner

Step 2: Once you have your account set up, head to this link for Glacier National Park and choose your date. The reservation is valid for 3 days. 

Step 3: Pay the non-refundable $2. Your ticket will be valid for the West Entrance or St. Mary Entrance. 

Step 4: You’ll receive an email confirmation with the ticket. Print out a copy or download to your phone prior to arriving in the park.

How far in advance can I purchase a Going to the Sun Road (GTSR) Entry Reservation Ticket or a 7-day Entrance Pass?

The Going to the Sun Road (GTSR) tickets to on sale February 1st, 2023. You can purchase them up to 60 days before your visit. You can purchase your entrance pass anytime. 

How long is my GTSR Entry Reservation Ticket valid?

The GTSR Entry Reservation Ticket is valid for seven days from the reserved arrival date. 

Is it possible for me to get a GTSR Entry Reservation Ticket last minute? 

The system does allow for last-minute GTSR Entry Reservation Ticket purchases. About ⅓ of the total tickets will go on sale every day 24 hours in advance of arriving and will be available up to the same day of arrival. This is assuming they haven’t sold out. If you show up at the West Entrance or St. Mary Entrance without a GTSR Entry Reservation Ticket, you will be turned around. You can go alone at recreation.gov to see if a ticket is available that day and try again.

Can I anticipate less crowds on the Going to the Sun Road (GTSR)? 

No, it isn’t likely. The system is focused on preventing temporary closures at the park’s West Entrance and to reduce congestion and traffic backups due to Montana’s Highway 2 construction, the road leading to Glacier’s West Entrance. The high demand areas like Avalanche, Logan Pass and St. Mary Falls will likely still be congested.

If I have reservations for a campground, lodging, backcountry trip, boat ride, guided hike, horseback ride, tour bus ride will I need a GTSR Entry Reservation Ticket?

Visitors with these types of reservations will not be required to purchase a GTSR Entry Ticket for the day(s) they have reserved, but if you’re wishing to return for alternate days, you’ll need to purchase a ticket. Be prepared to show a paper or digital copy of your reservation. You’ll still need to pay the $35 Entrance fee.

Check out our How to Elope in Glacier National Park Guide for more helpful tips.

ticketed entry system in glacier national park west entrance


  2. Debbie Dean says:

    Traveling by train from Whitefish, do I need a ticket to enter East Glacier?
    4 of us.. need guided car/van/bus tour, only there for 1day…
    Please, appreciate your suggestions.

    • Kelsey says:

      Hi Debbie!

      Thanks so much for reaching out! I received your comment on our reservation ticket blog post and I wanted to respond directly to you.

      If you plan on entering the park between the hours of 6am-3pm, yes, you will need a reservation ticket. You can get them 24 hours in advance. Login to your reservation.gov account just before 8am (MST) and keep refreshing until you can get a ticket.

      You can book Mountain Shuttle in Whitefish for transportation through the park!

      I hope that helps and I hope you have a GREAT experience in the park!

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